I see a world in chaos, crisis and confusion. Problems are everywhere, in every life, in every day.
It seems to me that problems around us are increasing both in number and frequency. It’s as if there are more things to worry about, more things to make us fearful. At every turn there are new challenges to deal with. As I read the news the warnings are more intense….our economy is crumbling, there is a new bacteria that is drug resistant, murder is on the rise, job losses are going up, prices are going up, temperatures are going up….the list continues.
But, as much as I write about that, behind it all is a pattern that I see as I watch God working in the Bible. Here’s the pattern repeated over and over in the Bible – God allows a problem in life that cannot be fixed or solved by the person themselves, the problem gets worse, they go to God to find help, God helps them and they discover the God of the Bible to be real, true, alive and caring. It’s a story repeated over and over through the pages of scripture.
Problems, big problems, bring us to our knees and humble us with our inability to solve them. Problems bring us to God. Problems make us face a simple reality – we need God!
Many of us think we can do it all on our own, but then a problem beyond our resolution comes and we are helpless….we need someone bigger than we are to help us. We need God.
The Bible expresses this often, both in story and in instruction. God is working, but what is He really working on?
Is He trying to make the world a better place to live?
Is He trying to bring peace on earth?
Is He trying to solve all our problems?
The answer to these questions is a resounding NO.
Here’s what He’s doing – God is still speaking…He’s drawing men and women to Him that we might know Him, find life in Him and grow in relationship with Him. It’s all about knowing God! (see John 17:3)
That’s what God is doing.
We may think life is all about the here and the now, about my comfort and my happiness. It’s not!
It’s all about knowing God. That’s why problems are such a blessing. They take our eyes off of our ability to take care of ourselves and force us to look to God, trust Him, talk to Him and depend on Him. So, as James writes below, celebrate your problems, they have a purpose and when you are done you will know God more intimately than you could have imagined.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4